Małopolska, Podkarpackie, and Świętokrzyskie Crowned as Poland’s Most Reliable Debtors


The most conscientious bill-payers can be invariably found in the provinces of Małopolska, Podkarpackie, and Świętokrzyskie. The current Ranking of Consumer Reliability by the National Debt Register of the Economic Information Bureau SA and Reliable Company also reveals those who can’t claim this quality. Among them are inhabitants of Pomerania, Warmia and Mazury, and Lower Silesia.

Reliable Company and the National Debt Register have once again assessed the reliability of Polish consumers, analyzing not only the total amounts of debt in each region, but also considering their size and population. Experts compared the total debt in each province, but per thousand inhabitants, the average value of the arrears of a statistical debtor in each of them, and the proportion of indebted individuals among all the inhabitants.

“We have created an objective index that allows us to obtain a comprehensive picture of the reliability of consumers in particular areas of the country. It identifies regions with better or worse financial discipline. High place in the ranking indicates that consumers in a given area are more reliable in settling their financial obligations,” explains Katarzyna Starostka, Reliable Company expert.

Reliability Geography – from Małopolska to Podlasie

The composition of the five most reliable provinces in the ranking has not changed, but there was a swap at the top. Podkarpackie ceded the first place to Małopolska, and Świętokrzyskie maintained its position at third place. Podlasie dropped by one place, while Wielkopolska climbed to fourth place. The biggest difference compared to the previous one can be seen in the average debt of a statistical debtor enlisted in KRD – in Podlasie, it increased by 1909 zł, in Podkarpackie by 1747 zł, in Świętokrzyskie by 1447 zł, in Małopolska by 1163 zł and in Wielkopolska only by 565 zł.

Residents of the Małopolskie region have emerged as the leaders of consumer reliability – they are the only ones in the ranking who have crossed the 40-point threshold. Among them, we find 4.36% debtors, debt per thousand inhabitants amounts to 864 thousand zł, and the average debt for one debtor is just under 20 thousand zł. Podkarpackie, with 39 points, was second where the lowest percentage of debt among residents was recorded, just 3.45%. Here, debt accounts for 697 thousand PLN per thousand inhabitants, and the average debtor has to repay 20 thousand PLN on average.

Lower Silesia consistently at the bottom

The disgraceful five members haven’t changed either, the difference can only be seen in places 4 and 5 from the end. Dolny Śląsk consistently holds the last place, Warmia and Mazury maintained the penultimate position, and Pomerania held the third from last. Only consumers from the Zachodniopomorskie province worsened their situation and in the current ranking, they were fourth from the back, replacing the Kujawsko-Pomorskie inhabitants who jumped to the fifth place in March.

The residents of Lower Silesia scored only 8 points, here each thousand inhabitants account for 1.8 million zł unpaid bills. Debts constitute as many as 9% of the entire population living here.

Debts and Demographics

“Very often in such rankings, the last places are taken by the most populous one. In such large population clusters, the total indebtedness of debtors is always the largest, hence these provinces – Silesian and Mazowieckie are mentioned as the least reliable for years. And right after them, Wielkopolska, Małopolska, and Lower Silesia. However, when these indicators are relativized, it turns out that the situation in these provinces is not bad at all. Except for Lower Silesia. But the people of Małopolska, on the other hand, are a model of payment reliability”, comments Katarzyna Starostka.

Meanwhile, Adam Łącki, CEO of the National Debt Register of the Economic Information Bureau, draws attention to another interesting conclusion arising from the analysis of the ranking.

“The five most reliable provinces are located in the areas of the former Republic of Poland, where the population has been settled for centuries. The five least reliable are located in lands taken over after World War II and populated by immigrants. This shows how much local ties influence our behavior. We care much more about our neighbors’ opinions where people have known each other for generations, and we don’t do things that are not socially acceptable. For example, we don’t get into debt there. On the other hand, it also shows how long these ties have to build. After all, nearly 80 years have passed since the end of the war and several generations already born in these areas have come into the world” – adds Adam Łącki.